Tag Archive for: business insurance

Should You Use Independent Agent For Your Business Insurance Needs?

Independent Agent Business Insurance

Would your business benefit from an independent insurance agent?

Insurance can be a complicated purchase for business owners to make. After all, you’re buying a promise of protection that could potentially make or break your financial future. From knowing what coverage you need to assessing your budget, business owners need to know if they’re making the right choices about their coverage.

An independent insurance agent can step in to help you secure reliable coverage for your needs. Not only that, but he or she can ensure you’re getting the best value for your dollar, too.

Choice

Independent agents represent many different insurance companies that offer a wide variety of coverage options and price points. They are not limited by only choosing a policy from one provider. Instead, different packages, policies, and price points are in their reach. This means that there’s no need to fill out different online applications or accept one quote from one company! An independent agent can put their connections to use to find you the better value of coverage.

Knowledge

Stumped on industry jargon? Agents can explain the complexities of insurance in simple terms, helping you to make the best decision. They make a career out of assessing their customers’ insurance needs and matching them with the insurance carrier best equipped to meet those needs at a price that the client can afford. A licensed professional ensures that your business is properly protected!

One-Stop-Shop

They meet all of your insurance needs with the companies that they represent, providing auto, home, renters, and business coverage! This means that you only need to manage one stream of insurance instead of several different ones from various companies.

With so many benefits of an independent insurance agent, why not give your local agent a call? Contact Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers to learn about suitable coverage for your needs!

Your Small Business Guide to Avoiding Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace

Harassment in the Workplace

Keep your business clear of discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

As an employer, you have the responsibility to maintain a workplace that is free of discrimination and harassment. Not only is this your legal obligation, but it also makes good business sense. If you allow prejudice and violations in the workplace, you will pay a high price in poor employee morale, low productivity, and lawsuits. Most businesses can’t afford the cost of any legal claim, let alone an employment practices liability claim, one of the most costly disputes around. Luckily, there are ways to stay on the right side of the law and avoid discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Recruit and Hire Correctly

It’s illegal to bar certain individuals or groups of people from employment based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, or disability. Your job postings should not contain discriminatory language and should not hint at discrimination.

Be Fair with Dismissals

While there’s nothing wrong with dismissing an employee for legitimate reasons, ‘wrongful termination’ is something to consider. If an employee feels that he or she has been terminated on unfair or prejudice grounds, he or she should file a suit.

Create Written Criteria

Before you make major decisions within the business, make sure you write out criteria on how you plan to evaluate applicants and employees. That way, you’ll have a physical document to guide your decisions and justify your choices if someone questions your motives.

Adopt Clear Harassment Policies

You can’t enforce your business’ harassment policy if it’s not written out. Your policy should clearly state that harassment of any kind won’t be tolerated. All policies should outline disciplinary procedures, instructions on how to file a claim, and details about how an investigation will be documented.

Train Your Team

The best way to avoid harassment and discrimination in the workplace is to teach your team that it is not okay. Ask every member of your team to undergo workplace harassment training, and always intervene if a situation calls for it!

Issues occur all too easily these days. Fortunately, safeguarding your company has never been easier! At Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers, we work with you to understand your risks, exposures, and insurance protection. Visit our team today to get started on securing your policy!

Top Strategies for Shopping for Business Insurance

Strategies for Shopping for Business Insurance

You know you need business insurance. Use this guide to help you get started.

Your business faces plenty of threats, from fire and fraud to dishonest employees and discontented customers. Yet, many businesses lack coverage in some of the most critical areas. To refrain from putting your company in undue stress and exposure, shopping for the right business insurance is a must.

Here are some easy ways to get started.

Do your homework. Find out what risks your business faces, how much your equipment and machinery totals, and note your total business earnings. The more information that you can provide to your insurance agent, the better. He or she will be able to then determine what coverage you may need as well as suggested limits. For example, if you conduct business primarily online, you may need Cyber Liability Insurance coverage, a coverage that has never crossed your mind. If you work in a particularly sensitive industry, you may need Errors and Omissions Insurance coverage.

Search for insurers. Believe it or not, but no two business insurance policies are created equal. Similarly, different insurers won’t offer the same policy at the same rate. Ask for quotes from at least three different insurers and call them up to get a feel for their assistance and processes. Better yet take to the Internet to research reviews and ratings.

Know what is and is not covered. Your insurer will go through your chosen policy, outlining what coverage you have purchased. While this is important, it’s just as important to know what is not covered. For example, your business insurance may not cover flood or earthquake damage, indicating that you should add these policies.

For the protection that you need, visit Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers today. Our professionals are ready to help you secure reliable commercial insurance for your business, whatever your exposures and industry!

Top Strategies for Employee Retention

Strategies for Employee Retention

Use these strategies for employee retention to enjoy a loyal and reliable team.

It’s every manager’s nightmare: One of your best employees resigns out of the blue. Right away, you’ve got a number of challenges to tackle. Not only do you have to find a replacement for such a talented team member, but you also have to consider the impact of this departure on the rest of the staff. Whenever someone walks out of the door, people notice, and some may wonder if they should follow suit. That is why business should have sturdy strategies for employee retention in place. As a manager, this may be one of your more important roles.

Hire the Best

Selecting the right team happens during the hiring process. Take care in the interview process to check out those who are looking for a temporary job and those who are willing to commit to staying. Ask questions about their gaps in work or when they’ve bounced around from job to job.

Recognize a Healthy Work/Life Balance

You can’t expect your employees to function like robots. In order to keep them operating at their most efficient level and keep them from harboring ill will against you or the company, you have to help them to establish a healthy work/life balance. This could be an afternoon off to enjoy team bonding or giving them a long weekend every six months.

Provide Support

Generally, people want to excel at what they do. For this to happen, employers should provide the resources and materials to get the job done. It’s even better if you can provide moral and mental support. Conduct bi-annual reviews of team members to assess their progress, address any concerns, and invite feedback. Employees like to know they’re valued, recognized, and respected.

As a business owner, not only should you work to improve your employee retention, but also to protect the company. When you need help finding the right business insurance coverage for your needs, visit Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers today to get started!

How to Control Your Business Vehicle Risk

Reduce Business Vehicle Risk

Train your drivers how to lower the business vehicle risk while on the roads.

Many businesses across the nation have some sort of vehicle. Whether it’s a single car, van, or entire fleet or trucks, more and more business are going mobile to reach clients and vendors far and wide. When you do own vehicles in your business, it’s easy to purchase commercial auto insurance and be done with it. What you do need to consider, however, is how to minimize business vehicle risk to keep your team and trucks safe on the road.

Write Up Policies and Procedures

When it comes to the safety of your employees and the protection of your vehicles, certain policies should be put into place.

  • Always wear a seatbelt
  • Never drink and drive
  • Refrain from distracted driving
  • Follow company procedures throughout the entire drive
  • Never exceed the maximum speed limit
  • Limit non-business use of vehicles
  • Always lock and secure vehicles when on the job

Perform Motor Vehicle Checks

To ensure that the employees and vehicles are safe throughout their journey, the vehicle should be operating at its best. For this, certain maintenance and check-ups should be completed regularly. From checking the oil, brakes, lights, timing belt, and more, reference the vehicle’s manufacturer guide.

Research Backgrounds Thoroughly

Before hiring on any new members of staff, particularly those who will become drivers, take the time to look into their background. Seek out their references, look at their driving record, and ensure that they have the right training that can support the work fulfillment.

Train Correctly

Employees who regularly drive work vehicles should be provided with sufficient driver training. This course may be a refresher for some, but it should cover key safety practices such as following distances and proper driving techniques.

For the protection you need, visit Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers today. Our professionals are ready to help you secure reliable commercial auto insurance for your business.

The Basics of Directors & Officers Insurance

Basics Directors & Officers Insurance

What you need to know about Directors & Officers Insurance (D&O).

One of the most discussed and least understood insurance products is Directors & Officers Insurance. In short, it is liability insurance that helps to cover defense costs and damages (awards and settlements) arising out of wrongful act allegations and lawsuits brought against an organization’s board of directors and/or officers. Unfortunately, these types of claims have become increasingly common and the higher-up management themselves could be held personally liable, should someone file a claim. To attract and retain qualified executives and board members, it’s important to have this type of insurance.

What can it cover?

Directors and officers are sued for a variety of reasons related to their company roles, including:

  • Breach of fiduciary duty resulting in financial losses
  • Misrepresentation of company assets
  • Misuse of company funds
  • Fraud
  • Failure to comply with workplace laws
  • Theft of intellectual property and poaching of competitor’s customers
  • Lack of corporate governance

Does your business need D&O coverage?

It’s a common misconception that D&O claims are mostly a public business phenomenon. Public, private, and non-profit companies all face D&O litigation risks, so it’s important to safeguard yours no matter what.

Directors & Officers Insurance is right for:

  • Financial institutions
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Private companies
  • Public companies

Lawsuits are all too common these days. Fortunately, safeguarding your company has never been easier! At Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers, we work with you to understand your risks, exposures, and insurance protection. Visit our team today to get started on securing your policy!

How to Improve Transparency in Business

Adopting and improving transparency in business is helping companies to succeed.

Transparency in business is all the rage these days. It’s all about being open and accountable for your business operations. In today’s society, where employees and customers are expecting more, improving the transparency in your business is not a bad route to follow. In fact, it can actually improve sales, make employees happier at work, and improve the health of your business’s future.

Here are some tips to get you started.

Treat your employees like adults.

Employees aren’t fragile. If you have something to say to them, just say it. Don’t attempt to sugarcoat bad news or beat around the bush – they will know that you’re trying to spare them. Deliver it honestly, and work with them to find a mutual conclusion. Your workforce will appreciate your honesty and openness in the long run.

Don’t fake it.

It’s illogical to expect someone to have the perfect answer in every situation. Sometimes it makes more sense to take a step back and allow another professional to handle the question or situation. People often know when someone is telling the half-truth or fibbing completely, so it’s worth sticking to what you know instead of faking your skills.

Explain your decision.

Whether it’s good or bad news, keep your employees in the loop. Explain to them why you’ve made certain decisions and what you expect out of them moving forward. Be honest, and your employees will understand your motive with clarity.

Respond to clients.

When a customer has a question or concern, aim to address it promptly. No one likes to wait around for days for a company to respond. The better your rapport with the clients, the more likely he or she will be to rate you highly.

As a business owner, not only should you work to improve the transparency of your business, but also to protect it. When you need help finding the right business insurance cover for your needs, visit Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers today to get started!

Three Exposures That Increase Small Business’ Liability

Small business’ liability can create further risk.

Small business owners are aware of the risks that they take when starting out a business. While many just protect with a bare-bones insurance policy, others are unaware of the liability risks that they face. Certain exposures can increase small business’ liability. To reduce risky behavior at your workplace, here are certain liabilities you should work on avoiding.

Exposure: Taking on unfamiliar tasks

Small business owners wear many hats – boss, HR professional, accountant, social media manager, and more. You’re at the helm of your business, but are you really qualified to handle every task? It’s likely that you’re not. Small business owners who complete tasks on which they are wholly unsuited for could risk being sued for negligence, malpractice, and the sort. Take control of your business and delegate tasks that are outside your realm of knowledge and expertise.

Exposure: Hiring and firing without knowing the rules

Every business understands that the employees are the living, breathing workforce that drives a company forward. Hiring and firing without first learning the rules and regulations is a recipe for disaster. Seek out proper advice and legal help before you hire and fire at will. Your business must comply with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws, among other essential rules in your area.

Exposure: Not carrying insurance

Whether you’re a new business or you’ve been established for years, you probably need small business insurance of some kind. Talk to your insurance agent to determine the right General Liability Insurance, Workers’ Compensation Insurance, Errors & Omissions Insurance, and Cyber Liability Insurance, among others, that you may need. Even more so, it’s important that you understand the insurance that you buy. Not knowing your coverage and limits could mean that you’re faced with insufficient help down the road.

For the protection that your business needs, visit Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers today. Our professionals are ready to help you secure reliable commercial insurance for your construction project.

Tips to Control Construction Risk Management

Construction Risk Management

Improve construction risk management with these tips.

Construction businesses work hard to keep everything running smoothly and seamlessly. From timing to the materials to safety, there is a lot to consider. Construction, in general, is a high-risk industry that needs careful planning and deliverance. Hazards are all around construction sites, and it’s best to learn how to control construction risk management from start to end.

Despite your best efforts, sometimes you can end up the target of a construction defect claim. When something goes wrong, understanding what happened and why it happened can make or break your business.

To best manage construction defect risks, use these defenses:

Know your codes – Keep up to date with current regulations and standards, including building codes, industry advisories, and the best practices.

Understand the products you use – Follow manufacturer guidelines and study product warranties and expiry dates. Always know the limitations of every material and system, and do not risk it if you can help it.

Choose the right subcontractors – Pre-qualify subcontractors to help ensure each has the proper credentials, experience, and skills to deliver the high standard of work that you aim to produce.

Transfer risk if necessary – Always rely on your legal counsel and risk advisors to help ensure that contracts protect you against errors and limit your obligations.

Document and record everything – Build a solid record of every step in the construction process to help defend against claims of poor quality of craft. Always back up these documents digitally and store them somewhere safe.

For the protection that you need, visit Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers today. Our professionals are ready to help you secure reliable commercial insurance for your construction project.

How to Work Ergonomically When Traveling

Work Ergonomically When Traveling

Work ergonomically while you’re on the move for business.

For those whose workforce is on the road weekly, you’ll know that there are difficulties that work travel can present in terms of ergonomics. In today’s modern society, you can find employees working anywhere from corner coffee shops bright and early in the morning to red-eye flights. You may even work virtually, without a traditional corporate office. Over time, these mobile work situations can take a toll on the body. With the on-the-go workforce here to stay, it’s important to avoid the discomfort, strains, and pains that come along with it. Wherever your travels take you, be sure to work ergonomically.

  1. Use a 4-wheeled suitcase. It requires less force to move and you can push it through the airport by your side in a neutral wrist posture, rather than having to reach beyond your body to pull a suitcase.
  2. Wear a laptop backpack or use a strap on the back of your laptop bag to slide it over the handles of your suitcase to minimize bending over and putting stress on your neck and shoulders.
  3. Use the luggage rack in your hotel room to pack and unpack your bag. If a luggage rack isn’t available, use the bed or a chair or ottoman.
  4. Use a pillow to raise the screen of your laptop. Angle the laptop screen so that you can see the font with the least amount of neck deviation.
  5. Use an external keyboard for a tablet when writing emails. Also, save longer emails for when you can access a computer versus typing them out on your phone.
  6. Vary postures between sitting and standing. Visit the hotel’s lobby if you’ve been sitting for a while. Many airport lounges now have raised tables so you can stand during layovers, too.
  7. Use task/reading lights when working in your hotel room or on an airplane. As nice as natural light may be, it can strain the eyes if it’s not bright enough.

Now that you know how to work ergonomically be sure that your insurance is in place. Leave your insurance policies in the very capable hands of our professionals. Visit our team at Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers for all of your insurance needs today.